Setting the Record Straight About "Lip Syncing" Groups
There is often a question of whether not groups sing live when performing for music shows like Show Champion, Inkigayo, etc.
People don't realize that nearly every single group prerecords especially during comeback week, and does multiple takes that are blended together for the final product that we see during the show. If they had the chance to go to a live show, they'd see that many groups just goof around on stage during the "live" because the audience at home is seeing the prerecorded stage.
Here's the kind of comments I often see.
On youtube, I see a lot of comments about how the group is clearly not singing live / not talented enough / etc. etc, and it kind of makes me shake my head.
Allow me to explain what's REALLY going on!
A lot of people clearly don't understand how music show recordings happen, so I'm going to share my knowledge! I have been to some music show recordings in Korea before, so I can attest that this is how it is often done. This isn't a guarantee that every performance fits this formula, but much of the time it does!
Step 1: Pre-Rec or No Pre-Rec?
You know how sometimes group sdo their "intro song" then their real one? The intro is "live", and the title track is pre-recorded, just like in the clip of VIXX above!
Basically, there are different types of recordings that happen for music shows. The main ones being:
This means that the groups get to use the studio before the live show, and the performance is pre-recorded at that time. It usually happens the morning of the recording, but can happen the week before or the night before if there is a scheduling problem. When pre-recordings happen, the entire studio is usually filled with one groups fans or split between only 2-3 groups.
Nearly all groups get to do this at least their first 2 weeks of shows when a new song comes out, as there is usually special stage set up that needs to happen, and this happens when the camera work might be difficult or the set is too much to change quickly.
- Live only
The group does not pre-record, and performs only during the live broadcasting of the show. Less fans get let in when compared to a pre-recording, and this is more likely to be the case for smaller or newer groups that don't get elaborate scenery set up for their stages. Most groups do only this after the first few weeks of a comeback.
WHEN DOING LIVE ONLY, THE AUDIO IS OFTEN RECORDED WITH NO AUDIENCE IN ADVANCE AS WELL, JUST TO ENSURE NO TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES. But this isn't always the case, as you have seen with some mic difficulties that occur during shows.
Step 2: Camera Rehearsal + Multiple Takes!
This applies to pre-recording, as I don't know what kind of camera rehearsal exactly happens for live shows, as there are no fans present.
First, a camera rehearsal happens. For most shows, the fans are in the studio already for this, and the don't fanchant full out so they don't get tired :P Also, the groups do all the formation changes, but they do not do their dance moves with all their energy. It's what dancers call a "mark through."
During this take, they do sing live! And the vocal track is recorded. This allows them to sing as loud / cleanly as possible while not tiring themselves out with the dance. This track is then MIXED WITH THE ALBUM VERSION of the track. This is normal practice.
Above is a VIXX video I know was pre-recorded! Listen to Hyuk's line at 2:01 and Leo's high note at 2:17. You can tell they're "real" or "live" or whatever you want to call it!
After the camera rehearsal, groups usually do a full take. Then, they'll review it and the producers will review it, too. With some groups (like VIXX a lot of the time), this is it, and they're good to go! Sometimes, they'll redo part of the performance, sometimes tell do full takes so the cameras can get a better shot, etc.
What's important to note is that they also sing live during this recording! There might be members that do not sing (you can tell which ones do not if you listen to MRs), but they record the audio here, too! You can tell because you hear mistakes happen (I've been to these before), or someone forgets to sing, or mics don't work properly and they have to stop to start again. Audio is being recorded!
Step 4: The "Live" Show
The live show is not fully live. What you see when you watch any music show is the combination of live and recorded performances. How else would the sets change so much between groups....? There's just not enough time! Many people think that because it's "not live" that means that they don't sing live.
But they do! They just sang it earlier, and it's being aired.
Remember how I said there's multiple takes? The audio from those takes is mixed to have the best possible quality regarding mic quality, voice quality, and other factors I can't even speak for because I'm not the one in the production room.
So that's why sometimes the voices seem to "not match!" And yes, sometimes it is just the track being played and not live singing, but 85% of the time, there is mostly live singing going on, the track just might not be recorded when you think it is!
Above is a VIXX video that was live only! You can tell that some members are lip syncing and some are singing live, right?
Here's an MR removed from a pre-recorded performance as well :)
Now, I'm not claiming to know everything and this is literally only taken from my person recording experiences and VIXX (lol, haven't gone for other groups when I was there!) But still, I thought some people would be interested in hearing what I can share, so there it is!